Photographer and filmmaker Bill Hayward has just published Chasing Dragons: An Uncommon Memoir in Photographs (Glitterati, September 2015). Uncommon it is, and beautiful, and quite possibly the first of its kind. Bill has agreed to let us share his artistic vision with you by featuring throughout the week images from his extraordinary book.
Chasing Dragons documents in photographs, paintings, and film stills, Bill Hayward’s evolution over five decades from portrait photographer to abstract painter, filmmaker, and multimedia artist. The heart of the book comprises 346 images in five acts that are subdivided into sections, each with a particular focus and accompanied by brief passages of text or poems. These images quicken the imagination with an energy that seems to jump off the page. You can read Douglas Glover’s in-depth review of Chasing Dragons here.
Both David and I have separately had the experience of being photographed by Bill. When I scheduled my session, Bill told me to clear my afternoon of any obligations and he wasn’t kidding. When I arrived at his studio he asked, as a prelude to our session, about the kitchen of my childhood home – my mother’s kitchen. Over the next several hours I built with paper and string and other odd pieces a kitchen table that would be my prop while Bill took pictures. Memories surfaced, some pleasant, some frightening. I left Bill’s studio at dusk feeling both lighter and more vulnerable, the way one might feel after a psychological breakthrough. (The novelist Justin Taylor describes his photo session with Bill here.)
Over the years we’ve often written about or featured Bill Hayward’s work on this blog. If you're a fan, you'll welcome his new book; if you don't know Bill's work, now is your chance to discover this visionary artist.